A Broadalbin woman systematically used her job to steal the identities of clients, using them to open credit card accounts, authorities said Thursday.
Victoria Horton, 34, is charged with four counts of felony second-degree identity theft, police said.
She is accused of opening the credit accounts at Wal-Mart stores in the Capital Region, two in Glenville, one in Halfmoon and the other in East Greenbush. She was also charged last month in Montgomery County with a similar scam there.
Horton is believed to have gotten the personal information from her job as a financial counselor at New York Oncology in Gloversville, police said. Officials with the company could not be reached for comment.
She is accused of using the cards to purchase thousands of dollars in merchandise and gift cards, which she would then resell online.
Police said the thefts were made easier because store clerks either did not ask for identification or got talked out of requiring it when the accounts were opened, police said.
Police said the thefts were made easier because no one confirmed her identity when she opened the credit accounts.
Either no picture ID was asked for, or she talked her way out of it, Detective William Marchewka of the Glenville Police Department said.
“It was a pretty calculated choice on her part,” Marchewka said. “She had a good system going. If somebody actually confirmed her identity through a picture ID, she would have been stopped prior to this.”
A Wal-Mart spokesman said only that the company was aware of the situation and that they are working with authorities. He declined to comment on the company’s identification policies.
Marchewka characterized the scheme as a crime of opportunity, saying Horton had access to the names and information and she successfully used them to open the accounts.
She is believed to have taken the information between October and December 2007.
The scheme began to unravel when victims began to receive credit card bills for purchases that they did not make, police said.
The U.S. Postal Inspector also received several complaints. Postal authorities are conducting their own investigation, police said.
Horton was given an appearance ticket and ordered to return to court Tuesday.
Police are also looking for any other victims. Anyone with information should contact Marchewka at the Glenville Police Department at 384-0135.
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Categories: Schenectady County